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  1. #1
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    Progression of the Frankenstein system!!

    Well I don't know where to start so here we go.

    When I was young my parents always had a saltwater aquarium up until I was about 11. One of those 45 gallon hex tanks with the under gravel filter and bleach coral skeletons. I would sit in front of the tank for hours and just watched. My parents had alot of problems with the tank because there wasn't a marsh yet and we couldn't afford a computer. The local fish store guy didn't know a whole bunch either. I would watch the nems crawl to the top of the tank and wonder why. I would get up in the morning to watch my favorite fish my yellow tang swim around. I later found out my yellow tang was about ten yellow tangs. As I got older I had fresh water tanks because I saw how much trouble my parents had with saltwater and I didn't want to treat any critter that way.
    I have always had some sort of native animals all my life. I use to have frogs, toads, turtles, tortoises, you get the point.
    Well fast forward a few years I got ran out of new Orleans by katrina and moved to the island. I was still working offshore at the time. I would see all kinds of fish and would just catch them just to look and release. When I would come home I would dig through the seaweed( sargassum/macro) and shake it to see what I could find. It is amazing what you can find in that stuff. Anything from juvi marlin to mahi. So I quit offshore because who whats to be gone for 28 days at a time and only home for two weeks. We will skip a few years but I was still collecting the whole time. I went home to help my grand parents clean out there attic and I see all my tanks and the one that my parents had is still up there but with broken glass . I still have the equipment and decorations so I take home a couple of tanks that have been sitting for I don't know ten years fill them up and they leak. I then start checking craigslist and find a 40 breeder for 40 bucks so I got it. I put the tank together with an old school canister filter and some t8 single bulb fixtures for fish only. So I filled it with sand from here and water from here and let it do its thing. After about a month or so I started stocking with what ever I could find. Well come to find out some fish don't get along and blue crabs with eat everything. Stone crabs move everything and eat what they want. So after figuring out what was what and what I could put together I had the tank running for a while. Then I decided to put a sump on since I had extra tanks laying around so I disasibled one cleaned and resealed. Ran it for about two weeks came home for lunch and there was about two gallons water on the floor. So I shut it down. Got a new tank 40 tall and started it up again. So for a while I had just fish and inverts. Then I decided to get some lights because I collected some nems and they were bleaching. I was only using t8 shop lights on three fixtures two bulbs a piece. So I got a t12vho retro fit kit that I still have in use. Well soon after I was on Craigslist again and some one posted a bunch of bad looking corals for 150 bucks because they were moving. So I went and took a look and said they dont look that bad sure as I was loading up the coral the lady said why don't you take the rock also for free. So I loaded everything up and brought it home to find that it wouldnt all fit in my fourty so I set up a seventy five I had laying around. So as of now I have two forty's and a seventy five. I just put everything in a tank for the night. The next day fixed everything up and had it just the way I wanted it. The only problem was the rock was covered in aiptasia. So i heard a little about them didn't think much about them until I realized why the coral looked like crap. So I started on my new reef tank I was pulling rocks and corals that had them and I was scraping the top layer off then burning with my torch lighter. It helped on the big one but the small ones were hard to get. Then as I am watching my 75 with most of the rock this little fish comes out and just bites a big chuck out of the aiptsia. So I get all excited and go out the next night and get another one and put him in my reef. Well come to find out the little guy likes euphillia and acans more. So I get him out the next day after half the frogspawn is gone. The one of three corals before I got the big package. Anyway getting off topic. So I get the aiptasia under control and almost gone in all my tanks. So everything is going good and I decided I want more natural filtration so I built an algae turf scrubber and put ut online. Fast forward a while my first real crash. I had to go out of town for some unfortunate circumstances and had a freind watch my tanks. So I give him the best tutorial I could and left. Well a three days after I went to Louisiana he calls there is water all over the floor and airbubble everywhere in the tanks. So I asked him if he topped it off he said that's what he was doing. Well my tank is in the garage and I go through average three gallons a day top off. So he let it get to low the water was barely pumping back in and I am sure the salinity could have preserved mummies. The did overflow siphon stopped and when he topped it off the water just went over the side of the tank. He dumped about five gallons of fresh water in so my salinity dropped so I tried to talk him through it. After while I gave up a said I would take care of it when I got back. Well when I came back a week later. I was upset most of everything died even my deep sand bed. So I started cleaning everything up and price back what was alive I didn't take any coral or anything out except the dead fish. I had an extra ten gallon so I set that up with a dab and fresh live sand straight from the gulf. I got everything clean and running to find out my trumpets hammer and lobo along with xenia, zoas, and mushrooms made it. I started doing water changes to get everything back on track. Well a couple months go by and the ops still look look like crap. Then they start melting of the skeleton. Come to find out my kitchen sink was leaking through the cabinet through the floor and into guess what? My water change bucket. Well I got everything clean up and now I have xenia, palys, zoas, and mushrooms. The Clownfish love it. That about sums it up for now. I will try and get some progression shots of my tanks when I get home from work. If you have any question feel free to ask.

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  3. #2
    Secretary sneezebeetle's Avatar
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    Wow! Thats a doozy of a history story lol! You got some pics?

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    Deanna Horning
    M.A.R.S.H. - Secretary
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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  5. #3
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    Not yet I am still at work.

    It has had it's ups and downs like everyone for sure. I just try and enjoy it. No matter what happens.

    If I am going to share it is going to be the good, bad, and ugly in all it's glory.

    Just wanted to give a little background. I always wonder why or how people get started in the hobby.
    Last edited by chris85; 1 Week Ago at 02:30 PM.

  6. #4
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    First setup

    changed it up a little.

    Some of my first collected critters







    changed it up again



    That all the time I have for now!! Hope you like it.
    Last edited by chris85; 5 Days Ago at 07:04 PM.

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  8. #5
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    A few more while I have a min.





    My first brittle star I caught

  9. #6
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    So this far I am still running t8 shop lights. I changed the canaister filter for a hang on the back. The pvc you see in the pictures is my diy skimmer.

  10. #7
    Supporting Member frankc's Avatar
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    Is anyone else unable to see the pictures? I can't see any of them in IE, and in Firefox I can only see the ones in post #5.

    The ones I can see are very cool, BTW.

  11. #8
    Supporting Member Nickig23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankc View Post
    Is anyone else unable to see the pictures? I can't see any of them in IE, and in Firefox I can only see the ones in post #5.

    The ones I can see are very cool, BTW.
    I can't view them either


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  12. #9
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    Well that stinks!!! Let me see what I can do.

  13. #10
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    I can't view either


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